Jun 8, 2022
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The RealReal founder and CEO Julie Wainwright departs

Jun 8, 2022

Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal announced on Tuesday that founder Julie Wainwright has decided to step down from her role as CEO, chairperson and member of the board. 

The RealReal founder and CEO Julie Wainwright departs. - Facebook: The RealReal

Wainwright is leaving the company after 11 years of leadership. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission her “decision to resign was not due to any disagreements with the company.” 

Effective immediately, the board has appointed Rati Sahi Levesque, the company’s president and chief operating officer, and Robert Julian, the company’s chief financial officer, as co-interim chief executive officers. 

The company said that the board will work with a search firm to identify a new chief executive officer. Meanwhile, Wainwright has agreed to serve in an advisory role as the founder through the end of 2022.

“I am deeply proud of the company we have built and am honored to have worked with a team that champions our founding vision of creating a more sustainable future for fashion,” said Wainwright. 

“The RealReal continues to make progress on its path to profitability, and I feel now is the right time for the next generation of leadership to guide the company through its next chapter. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has worked tirelessly to support our journey, and I have deep trust in Rati, Robert and the rest of our management team to execute on Vision 2025.”

Commenting on her departure Rob Krolik, lead independent director, thanked Wainwright for her leadership and commitment to The RealReal. “Julie is a true visionary and pioneer whose passion for sustainable retail and deep e-commerce expertise helped transform the luxury resale market and create the broader circular economy for the benefit of consumers across the country,” he said. 

On the appointment of Levesque and Julian, Krolik continued, “Rati and Robert bring complementary skillsets that together create a powerful combination of operational, financial and industry expertise […] They are exceptionally well suited to serve as co-interim CEOs while the search for a permanent CEO replacement is underway.”

Levesque joined The RealReal in 2011 most recently serving as the president of The RealReal since 2021 and chief operating officer since 2019. She previously served as the company’s chief merchant from 2012 to 2019. Likewise, Julian has served as chief financial officer of The RealReal since 2021 and has over 30 years of financial management experience.

Last month, The RealReal saw total sales for the first quarter increase 48%, on the back of strong gross merchandise value (GMV) growth. The San Francisco-based company said total sales reached $147 million for the first quarter ending March 31, while GMV gained 31% to $428 million. 

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